I’ll be honest — I’ve been avoiding this tag for several reasons. Reason Number One: I’ve been struggling in the area of writing for a while now (read: on and off since NOVEMBER). While I’m excellent at rolling with punches, once the rolls stop I’m not terribly great at balancing myself out again. The move was a punch, I rolled, and I’m trying to tell myself we can stop rolling now, thank you. Reason Number Two: …No, there was apparently only one reason. There you have it.
THAT BEING SAID, I decided maybe this tag is what I need to get a birds-eye look at a few things +update my patient readers/followers (seriously. You guys are so patient. It’s almost disgusting and I love you for it) who’ve been wanting to know what I’m up to. So without further ado — the writer’s tag!
1. WHAT GENRES, STYLES, AND TOPICS DO YOU WRITE ABOUT?
GENRES: This is already off to a great start because everyone knows, I toss several adjectives in the NutriBullet, pulse three times, and write whatever that gives me. This is why I have a futuristic sci-fi Samurai retelling of Robin Hood completed and a space fantasy rock opera twist on King Arthur waiting in the wings.
And I thought writing a Christian take on vampires, werewolves + other unnatural beings/modern episodic western was ‘out there.’
STYLES: It changes depending on the genre(s) I’m writing, but apparently it’s still obvious I’m behind whatever it is I’m writing. This is probably because I tend to write in third person/past tense, but also probably because I reap bountiful harvests of
• sarcasm, snark, banter, jokes, and general hilarity
• a lot that is, in fact, very dark and emotional but which I don’t usually post on this blog because people want humor in snippets and the dark, heavy emotions don’t really work if you haven’t read the rest of the novel
• characters you would never want to meet in a dark alley, or brightly-lit alley, or any alley, but who are probably good people. But not always. Better not to risk it
• motley crew dynamics
• LOTS OF VIEWPOINTS because I’m a huge fan of seeing situations from all sides + I have so many characters in each novel that they need to Have A Say + I love 99% of them too much to ignore them + they really are important to the plot, I swear.
TOPICS: This is a tricky one because I’ve only written/thought of a few books that are strictly topical (Monster, Acceso). Usually what happens is: I think of a neat story I want to write/I start writing it/I immediately start addressing various topics within the novel because Issues are important to me but I don’t want them to weigh down the story.
FOR EXAMPLE, I wanted to write about samurai + motorcycles, so I started The Dying of the Light, which wound up addressing issues like political oppression, dual morality, and sexual abuse. Because that’s what happens.
2. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING?
When I was nine or so I attempted to novelize The Empire Strikes Back. I got quite a ways into it before I abandoned the project and attempted to novelize Ice Age instead. I abandoned that, too, and didn’t pick up another pencil until I was twelve and wrote a short story called The Unicorn on the Mantle. I subsequently forgot I’d written it, let alone submitted it anywhere, until I logged back on to a site called GirlsHorseBarn (which apparently is no longer in existence. I just checked. …I’m strangely sad about it) to discover I’d won first place. The fame got to me and I had to keep going, as happens.
3. WHY DO YOU WRITE?
Because I need to. Next question.
4. WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO WRITE?
WHEN I FEEL INSPIRED.
Duh. I prefer writing either in the morning or at night, although I can write at any time of day. I just need to know nothing is dangling over my head – there’s nothing pressing I need to accomplish and I can settle down to write without any guilt or interruptions.
5. PARTS OF WRITING YOU LOVE VS PARTS YOU HATE?
LOVE: The actual writing. I love watching the story unfold in front of me – watching the characters interact, watching the plot twist as it continues on toward the end, infusing the stories with my beliefs, feelings, and ideas. I love the sheer creativity of it, and I love using that creativity to say something important. (This is why I only write fluffy novels – like the Paper series – when I’m a) writing something much heavier at the same time or b) need a mental break from stress.)
HATE: Potting. I love plotting, but I hate plotting. I love writing the plot, seeing it come together, but I loathe actually sitting down and putting in the mental effort to come up with a plot and make sure it works. I write on the fly – that’s how things come together for me – but I can’t start a novel until I have a vague structural blueprint. That’s my least favorite part of writing.
6. HOW DO YOU OVERCOME WRITERS BLOCK?
I generally find that Block is rarely related to actual writing. Usually it’s the result of stress or upheaval in my physical life/a drought in my spiritual life. Sometimes it can take months to straighten out, other times it’s a lightbulb moment, I fix the issue, and can carry on without a hitch. Unfortunately, it’s usually far more complicated than that, and there isn’t much I can do except keep trying until something gives.
7. ARE YOU WORKING ON SOMETHING AT THE MOMENT?
As it so happens, I am. My main focus right now is revising Dark is the Night so I can get it finalized + start submitting it to publishers. On the side, however, I’m playing with a fantasy novel I’ve been wanting to write for half a year or more. The only proof I have is this opening snippet which came to me out of nowhere and which I scribbled down, no matter how shoddy, because sometimes it’s more important to get it written than worry:
8. WRITING GOALS THIS YEAR?
• Finish revisions and edit on Dark is the Night, submit it to publishers.
• Start real work on the Unnamed Fantasy Novel without overthinking it because overthinking things hails the death of any novel I begin.
It’s a short list, I know, but cut me some slack – I just moved.
IT’S YOUR TURN, WISHFUL THINKERS: if you want to play along, consider yourselves tagged. If you don’t have a blog but want to fill out the tag anyway, leave it in the comments below!